Territory Stories

Land units of the Seventeen Mile Plain, Melville Island, 1973



Land units of the Seventeen Mile Plain, Melville Island, 1973

Other title

by H.R.M. Van-Cuylenburg and C.R. Dunlop.


Van Cuylenberg, H. R. M.; Dunlop, C.; Australia. Dept. of the Northern Territory. Animal Industry and Agriculture Branch


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).


Date:1973; Bibliography: p. 38




Land use -- Northern Territory -- Melville Island

Publisher name

Northern Territory Administration

Place of publication



38 p. : ill., maps ; 30 cm.

File type


Copyright owner

Check within Publication or with content Publisher.

Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

26 AREAS AVAILABLE FOR USE The total area mapped including the plateau and adj acent areas covers approximately 23 745 ha but the total area of the plains is approximately 13 530 ha. The following percentage areas are of the actual plains area. It proposed here that the plains be considered ln four categories of wetness (Fig. 3). These are: 10 Permanently wet areas (units 7a, 8a). 2. Areas wet for 4-6 months of the year (units 6a, 6b, 6c). 3. Areas wet for 3-4 months of the year (units 4a, 4b, 4c). 4. Well drained areas (units Sa, 5b). 1. Permanently wet areas Sal t water mangroves, creeklines and drainage flats take up 31% or 4 200 ha of the total area of the plains. These areas cause severe access problems and are totally non-productive. 2. Areas wet for 4-6 months of the year These are low lying or seasonally ponded areas wi th lateritic podzolic soils. They occupy 26% or 3 500 ha of the total plain. The country could be useful for seed production or pasture production, providing a water tolerant species is grown. Through the wet, alternative grazing areas will have to be provided for stock and this would be an added expense. 3 Areas wet for 3-4 months of the year These are flat to gently undulating areas of yellow earths and earthy sands. They occupy 7% or 980 ha of the total area of the plain. Trafficability would be impossible in these few months, also as in category two, other areas would be needed for stock during this period. They would be suitable for pasture production and stock could be moved back during the early dry season. 4. Well drained areas These areas occupy 36% or 4 850 ha of the total area of the plains. These soils are suitable for pasture production and in small areas even cropping, however only a very small area is readily accessible during the wet season. The major portion of these soil types lies between Maxwell Creek and Mirikau-yunga Creek. The surrounding areas are therefore extremely wet and access will be very limited wet season.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this website may contain the names, voices and images of people who have died, as well as other culturally sensitive content. Please be aware that some collection items may use outdated phrases or words which reflect the attitude of the creator at the time, and are now considered offensive.

We use temporary cookies on this site to provide functionality.
By continuing to use this site without changing your settings, you consent to our use of cookies.